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7 Really Surprising Health Benefits from Smoking Cannabis

A close up of a man's hand holding a lit joint with a wisp of smoke flowing up from the cherry.

As marijuana use becomes more widely accepted across the United States, scientists have really turned their attention to understanding how cannabis affects the human body and brain. The research has yielded some really interesting results. Many studies are showing exactly how smoking marijuana results in positive health benefits. This information helps on the frontline of the battle to legalize marijuana. 

These surprising health benefits suggest that marijuana can be a relatively safe option for a variety of medical purposes. While researchers understood this to a point due to medical marijuana studies, they’re now realizing that weed interacts with the endocannabinoid system in more ways than originally anticipated. This opens a door for U.S. adults looking for treatment options for health conditions without the heavy list of side effects from prescription drugs. So, let’s dive in and take a look at the health benefits of marijuana

Marijuana May Actually Be Good for You!

Many people already understand how cannabis extracts and marijuana smoke can help with pain management. In fact, some patients have said that cannabis is the only thing to provide pain relief from their chronic pain. But the effects of marijuana go beyond managing pain.

Many patients already use marijuana to treat a variety of conditions such as multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel diseases, Crohn’s disease, Dravet syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. 

There’s also strong evidence that marijuana not only provides pain relief from chronic pain, but it also reduces inflammation to provide relief for people suffering from inflammatory conditions and diseases. This medical benefit can help people who were once in a lot of pain, enjoy life again. The health effects of cannabis vary depending on the marijuana strain used. The two main chemical components of cannabis are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). These two compounds are what is primarily responsible for the health benefits of marijuana. 

Both THC and CBD interact with the endocannabinoid system. There have been several studies published about the health effects of cannabis as it relates to the ECS. The scientific evidence grows with each clinical trial to help us learn more about the benefits and risks, as well as the potential medical benefit of cannabis. Here are some surprising things marijuana research has enlightened us with:

1. Marijuana Can Actually Improve Lung Function

When compared to cigarette smoking, smoking marijuana isn’t as bad for your lungs. Many people who smoke cannabis actually have improved lung function in comparison to tobacco cigarette smokers and people who’ve never smoked. Researchers theorize that this may be because people who smoke weed tend to inhale bigger and more deeply, thereby training their lungs to perform more efficiently. 

2. Cannabis Can Help Regulate Body Weight and May Prevent Diabetes

A recent study found that regular marijuana smokers have a tendency to be less obese than those who do not smoke cannabis. The study took a look at over 700 adult cannabis users and found that they generally had a lower BMI than non-smokers. BMI, or body mass index, is often used to determine a person’s health. Those with higher BMI tend to be more overweight and those with lower BMI tend to have less body fat. Individuals with a lower BMI usually have a lower risk of developing diabetes. 

3. Marijuana Can Boost Performance Mentally and Physically

A 2012 study found that cannabis actually makes people more creative in terms of language use. Researchers examined the benefit of marijuana on creativity. They tested 160 cannabis users when sober and again after smoking cannabis. The results indicated that cannabis increased verbal fluency. 

Another, smaller study, took a look at the effect of cannabis on athletes. Marijuana has a known anti-inflammatory effect. This is one of the reasons that make it a viable option for controlling pain. This same anti-inflammatory effect may help athletes perform better and recover more quickly. 

4. Cannabis Kills Cancer 

The U.S. Government has now officially recognized that cannabis can shrink and kill cancer cells in laboratory settings. This is an extremely promising development for cancer patients. While scientists gather more evidence of the effect of marijuana on cancer cells, some patients already use the drug for other cancer-related reasons. Medical cannabis is already being used to treat chemotherapy-induced nausea. It also stimulates appetite in cancer patients to help with chemotherapy-related weight loss. 

5. Marijuana and Mental Health

Studies indicate that cannabis may be a viable treatment option when it comes to depression and anxiety. In some cases, it may even be a good option for helping ease posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Research shows that CBD products are great options for decreasing anxiety. Marijuana can also reduce anxiety in low doses, but higher doses of THC may make anxiety worse. Some patients state that using marijuana before bed also helps them fall asleep faster and have fewer dreams. This can be especially helpful for those who suffer from vivid night terrors. However, after stopping long-term marijuana use the nightmares will return. 

Marijuana may help those with depression caused by chronic stress. Research is currently underway to study the relationship between marijuana and endocannabinoids to further study stress-related depression. 

Cannabis studies have also suggested that marijuana may be a better treatment option for ADHD over Adderall or Ritalin. This is especially true in cases where these medications have proven to be ineffective. 

Before self-treating any physical health or mental health condition. You should always check with your medical provider. It’s also important that you never stop your current prescription medication without first talking with your doctor. 

6. Cannabis for Your Joints

Among the multiple health properties of cannabis, it can also help with joint pain and stiffness. There are many types of arthritis. Each can have a lasting impact on your body. Arthritis symptoms can make it more difficult to enjoy life, so when medications don’t work as well as they should, patients find themselves unsure of where to turn. The answer may be found in cannabis. 

A few small studies show that people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis may benefit from cannabis use. Some patients say that it helps curb their morning pain and helps improve sleep. It can also help decrease the amount of inflammation in their joints. 

7. Marijuana May Help Bones Heal Faster

A relatively new study indicates that cannabidiol may actually help broken bones heal more quickly. Not only do breaks heal faster, but the bone tends to heal stronger, making it less likely to break in the future. Research also suggests that the body’s cannabinoid receptors stimulate bone formation while also inhibiting bone loss. This means that it may be a treatment option for bone-related diseases such as osteoporosis. 

Is Marijuana Right for You?

There is still much to learn about the effects of marijuana on the human mind and body. Constant research is key in learning just how far this miracle drug can go when it comes to various health conditions. If you think marijuana may be able to help you then speak with a medical professional for any medical advice, and experienced personnel at a reputable dispensary. They can get you on the right track as far as which type of marijuana might work best for you. They’ll also help you find a good starting dosage. 

It’s important to double-check to make sure that cannabis will not negatively interact with any medications you’re currently taking. You also will want to speak with a doctor before you change or stop any current prescriptions. 

As marijuana is still being legalized across the country, look up the laws in your area to be aware of any laws or restrictions about marijuana use. Even where marijuana is legal, there may be restrictions on the amount you’re allowed to possess at one time. Your local dispensary may have more information about the laws in your area. 

Only purchase marijuana and other cannabis products from a trusted, reputable dispensary. This ensures you get a quality product while also having the benefit of their knowledgeable staff. They’ll be able to help you with any questions about their products including their use, THC levels, and much more.